The internet is so full of tributes to those who’ve passed that it’s tough to keep up. Some of us might even develop a steely disposition, assailed as we are by tiny sub-140 character memorials and RIP hashtags. We might even get a little apathetic about death, but when it’s a little closer to home, it’s just a terrible thing. I don’t pretend to know Mr. Mark Cadwaladr all that well, but he was one of the first to say anything nice about this blog and I’d known him for a while through Crooked Tongues. I’m not American enough to engage in the retweeting of compliments and in these (ineffective) PR driven times, insincerity is pandemic, so I find people saying nice things deeply awkward. Mark’s feedback — a correction here, a snarky comment there and passing on a link was incredibly important and pretty much incited me to compile a few half arsed paragraphs when I really wanted to get offline to watch a Brian Bosworth film and eat my own body weight in Peanut Butter M&Ms.
This site has lost a like mind (even if Mark complained that I was being indulgently referential to try to confuse him) and an important part of its readership, but beyond that he was a father, friend and family member. I owe him a great deal. I’m not spiritual in the slightest, but that much enthusiasm for clothes and shoes won’t disseminate fast. It’ll keep on echoing in the real and virtual worlds for some time to come. We can all unleash the cliches at a time like this and claim that we don’t appreciate people until they’re gone and that would we should say nice things while they’re here, but most Brits would run a mile if the positive vibes became too over powering. The piss taking, sarcasm and occasional reprimand was proof that we were in the presence of a genuinely top bloke. They’re a rare breed. The self-promoters get the Google hits, but the good people make the long-term impact.
I had to bookend this post with images of Steve Cram in his Nikes. I think it’s the
T/C Vendetta Windrunner (see comments) in Cram colours at the top and the running spikes in the Cram colours below. There’s a lot of unspoken tales of Brits and their entry point into Nike, and the child-size only Nike Cram Destiny and Nike Bongo frequently make an appearance. I know Mark’s shoe addiction was aided by a love of the Destiny. On a purely commercial basis, Nike’s Steve Cram Collection was a flop, because it used yellow — a deeply uncommercial colour at the time — to correlate with Cram’s running vest colours (I’ve never heard the sales figures for the Alberto Cova colourways of similar shoes from around the same time). I think the collection being a Brendan Foster helmed project and his relationship with Nike disintegrating didn’t help, but for a whole generation who’d grow up to fuel collector culture on these shores, the Nike Crams were deeply important.
It’s the little things that make the bigger splash.